Feeds

Samsung backside-bitten by emoticon patent trollery

WHEN WILL THE MADNESS CEASE?

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Samsung’s patent lawsuit against Apple over emoticons has bitten the smartphone maker in the behind, with a patent troll hoarder called Varia now suing Samsung over the same thing.

At the bottom of it all is our relentless pursuit of the laziest possible way to carry out the most mundane activities. Since emoticons are intolerably tedious to type, a screen prompt to “insert smiley” is indispensable.

So far, so good: but someone in the US Patent Office saw fit – I’m not joking here – to grant a patent for the business of popping up a list of emoticons on the smartphone screen as a user convenience. That patent was granted to Samsung, which is using it as a skirmishing-front in its ongoing war with Apple.

However, the new lawsuit filed by Varia states that Samsung has based its case against Cupertino on an infringing patent – and Varia is the hoarder that owns the patent Samsung is infringing.

In papers filed in the US District Court (NY southern district) and posted to Docstock, Varia says US Patent 7,167,731, Emoticon Input Method and Apparatus predates the patent Samsung holds, and is infringed by Samsung.

“The ‘731 patent covers a mobile communication device having an input key that, when pressed by the user while in text mode, results in the display of a list of emoticons for selection by the user,” the complaint states.

“Samsung is presently a party to a patent infringement action with Apple in which it is asserting US Patent No. 7,835,729 … therefore … Samsung has recognized the value of the type of invention embodied in the ‘731 patent”.

It is, in a way, delicious. Samsung’s best defence would probably be to have the patent voided on the basis that the “insert smiley” function is too obvious to warrant a patent. That, however, would unload one of the guns Samsung hopes to fire at Apple. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
Spies, avert eyes! Tim Berners-Lee demands a UK digital bill of rights
Lobbies tetchy MPs 'to end indiscriminate online surveillance'
How the FLAC do I tell MP3s from lossless audio?
Can you hear the difference? Can anyone?
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
EU to accuse Ireland of giving Apple an overly peachy tax deal – report
Probe expected to say single-digit rate was unlawful
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.